Seth’s Blog: The lesson from two lemonade stands

Some time ago I read this article by Seth Godin,  “ The lesson from two lemonade stands“.  Go read it, then come back here.

For the church – what lemonade stand are we?

  • Are we passing out tracts and telling people the “bridge” story or are we loving people and walking with them to the bridge.?
  • Is it more important to us that people attend or that people encounter?
  • Are people an audience or are they participators?
  • Does tradition trump God’s leading?
  • Does playing it safe to protect what we have trump taking a risk in faith to go where God is?
  • Are we known more for what we take than what we give?
  • Or put another, way – for what we are against than what we are for?

I’ve purposely left the “in between” unfilled in this post.  Hopefully these questions get you thinking as much as they have me and I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments!  So, what lemonade stand is the church?

Something I’ve been struggling with

Is there ever a good time to lie?  If you ever want to spark an interesting conversation, this is the question to ask.  If I’m honest with you, it’s a question I struggle with and if you’re honest, I think its something you struggle with too.

I always thought the 10 commandments had a “Do not lie” somewhere in there and it does BUT it only says something about not bearing false witness against your neighbor.  In other words, “Don’t lie about something you witnessed your neighbor doing or not doing”.  Kind of narrowing the context in which you must not lie.  But then, lying is listed as one of the six things God HATES in Proverbs 6:16-18. If you lie, you are putting yourself in opposition to God. Ouch.

So I struggle.  I struggle because there are some times where its really easy to be a truth teller. There are other times where its not that difficult to recognize the temptation to lie and resist it.  But then there are the the times…

  • when my wife has come through a grueling day of looking after the kids, doing laundry, cleaning the house AND has supper ready when I come home.  It tastes awful.  She asks me, “Do you like it?” I’m tempted to say, “Delicious”
  • Someone asks me how I’m doing and although I feel cruddy and overextended I’m tempted to say “I’m fine”
  • Or how about all the “polite” things we’ve been trained to say, things like “I’ll/We’ll miss you” when in reality we can’t wait for them to go;  or “Sorry, I’m busy right now” when in reality you’ve got all the time in the world but just don’t want that person to know because you don’t want to help that person; or “I’m looking forward to meeting you” when the truth is you couldn’t care less if you meet them or not.
  • What about answering the question, “so what’s new?”, “uhh, nothing”
  • Oh and what about the message we leave on our answering machines, “Sorry I missed your call…”  Really?

Are there any other lies that you think could be added to that list?  If you were to count how many times you succumb to the temptation of one of these situations, how many times a day would you say you lie?  I’m afraid to count.

But then, acknowledging this is a struggle helps me realize that it’s something that matters to me.  It matters to me that I strive for honesty.  It matters to me, that I recognize the temptation to be less than honest.  It matters to me, that there are times where it would almost seem justifiable to tell one. little. white. lie.

It matters to me, because God matters to me.

And honesty matters to Him.

That’s why I’m grateful for His grace.

Early Adopter Disease

Here’s some symptoms of early adopter’s disease…

  • you subscribe to multiple tech blog feeds.  Even worse, you follow all their twitter feeds.  Even worse than that, you are a fan of their facebook page. Oh and  by “multiple”, I mean so many that you have 100 new posts an hour coming into your feed reader.
  • All non essential activity stops and you drool when watching an announcement on the latest gadget.  Essential activity is breathing.
  • When a new gadget is released you read every article that get’s written on it.  Anything else is old news.  What oil spill?
  • You know of gadgets that no one else you know has heard of.
  • You begin a lot of conversations with, “Hey did you hear about this? ___________”  and proceed to describe in glorious detail the incredible features of the gadget that will save the world.  Well, at least make the world a better place to live.  Well, at least make YOUR world a better place to live….
  • Things aren’t cool, they are magical.
  • You don’t understand why people get frustrated when something doesn’t work.  Your patience level is god-like when working with new stuff.  Which is probably why….
  • …waiting in lines is your favorite sport.
  • You sign up for all the beta stuff.  Even worse you sign up for alpha stuff.
  • You know what that means.
  • Every outlet in your house is taken up by the power bricks of your stuff.
  • When you are without internet access, you’re paralyzed and cannot do anything.  (This is actually a symptom for a few other diseases too – like internet occuporitus syndrome)
  • You see nothing wrong with people who buy tickets for this (and would be one of the first ones to do it if it wasn’t for all the money you spend on other stuff, like new gadgets and things…)

Do you have the disease?  Is there anything else you would add to the list?